Secrets of the Fearless Mess-Makers

Secrets of the Fearless Mess Makers Long

“You’re so brave.”

It’s something I’ve heard from many parents, both as a teacher a parent myself.  Usually, they were referring to the fact that I had just set out a bin full of colored rice for toddlers to play in, or jars full of water colors for preschoolers to splatter all over coffee filters with eyedroppers.

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Filed under Create, Learning through Play and Experience, Uncategorized

Weekend Reads 3.21.14


Wild and exciting times around here as we work on all the plans necessary to get our family moved almost 1,000 miles away this summer.  Daunting and exciting, but also, busy and distracting!  So posts have been a bit sparse as we’ve traveled up and back several times, trying to find that one piece of dirt we’ll settle down on.  But while I’ve been away, there have been some fascinating things coming across my screen that I’d love to share with you!  (And if you feel like trading, I’ll be happy to take any tips or links for making a big move with your family or for living in the Pacific Northwest in exchange!) Continue reading



Filed under Uncategorized, Weekend Reads

Teach Your Baby to Read in His Sleep* (*sort of)

Teach Your Child to Read in His Sleep

A recent study published by literacy expert Dr. Susan B. Neuman in the Journal of Educational Psychology, has asserted (yet again) that babies do not actually learn to read by watching videos, staring at flashcards, or chewing on any other part of a bundle marketed as educational media for babies.

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Filed under Building Readers, Child Development & DAP

It’s OK NOT to Share Section 3a: Sharing Toys

cover image

Remember how you raised your eyebrows and squirmed a bit when you heard the title, “It’s OK NOT to Share”?  (OK, maybe some of you didn’t even bat an eye.)

As adults, we know the value of being altruistic, selfless, and generous.  We want to instill that in our kids.  So we encourage them to share.

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Filed under Child Development & DAP, Learning through Play and Experience, Positive Guidance and Social Skills, Uncategorized

And the Award Goes To…..


Image by Dave B.

The Academy Awards were held Sunday night.

Not that anyone (besides me) took note in our household.

I personally don’t mind a little celebrity indulgence now and then, and have a little bit of fun catching up on what people are wearing, who’s saying what, and quite honestly, figuring out what movies actually came out in the past year, as I certainly haven’t gotten around to seeing anything in a theater for far too long.

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Filed under Quick Thought / Hot Topic, Uncategorized

Weekend Reads 3.1.14

WR(*Quick Reminder: My friend Mel is starting her Family Haven eCourse on the 3rd!  If you haven’t checked it out yet, do yourself a favor and head on over here!  Then come back and read these links, of course!) Continue reading



Filed under Weekend Reads

Quick Thought: Play to Learn

Just a quick thought for today:

Play to Learn

Play is powerful.  It’s the process of authentic learning in action.  Children play with new ideas, with social rules, and with just about any random item they can get their hands on.  It’s an on-going process of questioning, exploring, and experimenting.

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Filed under Learning through Play and Experience

Book Activity: Horton Hears a Who

Horton Hears a Who

Horton Hears a Who is a Dr. Seuss classic, with revived interest from the younger generation thanks to Hollywood.  This story is a great tale of the commitment and unselfishness of Horton, and the importance of cooperation and individual contribution from the Who’s.

It reiterates the famous line, “A person’s a person, no matter how small.”  That’s something every young child can appreciate!  Reading this story also incorporates some fantastic language components including new vocabulary, such as “shirking” and “keen”, and as always, Dr. Seuss’ rhymes are great for building phonemic awareness!  Use this story in conjunction with teaching social skills, while doing a Dr. Seuss author study, or as part of a zoo or jungle theme.

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Filed under Building Readers, Learning through Play and Experience